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A quick message

So sorry that I broke the schedule of posting once a week! As life is returning to normal and the coronavirus situation is dying down, it is harder to find the time, so I now optimistically hope to post once a week, but realistically will be posting once a month.

continued directly from the previous post…

The day after was probably the most traumatic out of all of the days associated with Nando’s injury as all we could do was think about our concerns. We now knew for certain that her leg was broken. But we weren’t sure how much pain she was in. We knew the pain relief would run out completely after 24 hours.

As I wondered about all of this, I realised I hadn’t asked enough questions the previous night. Unfortunately, this led to Google. When you are a concerned cat owner, this is probably the worst place to be. Countless web pages informed me that broken cat legs demanded constant pain relief and a splint. A splint hadn’t been provided and pain relief would run out around 11 pm that night. The more I read, the more my concern grew – had Nando received sufficient care? Should more have been done? Asking friends and family only served to deepen my worries.

On top of this, I also began to research treatment options for broken legs. The prices were astronomical. If there is one thing that I want people reading this blog to take away: please get pet insurance.

It’s so easy to wander into the world of “this will never happen to me.” My first cat was insured for about a year, before we cancelled the insurance. He is an indoor cat, and that naive mentality was at play so it seemed like a waste of money. After what happened to Nando, all of my cats are insured.

The truth is, you never know what will happen. My cats spend the majority of their time indoors. They never stray too far from the house, always a call away. In the end, it doesn’t matter. These things happen randomly and when they do you need to be prepared. My only option was to work out a payment plan come Monday. 

For now, my biggest concern was: has Nando received the care she needed? I decided it was in her best interests to call the vet and seek advice. 


Nando, Concerns, Broken leg, Pain

This picture of Nando was taken on the Sunday that I am talking about on the post. Breaks my heart seeing her like that and thinking back to the day.




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Broken Bones

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Continued directly from previous post…


The vet knocked on the car window and we wound it down. Nando wasn’t with him. He cut straight to the point, telling us that her leg was broken and she needed surgery. He was certain of a tarsal fracture, and suspected additional breaks in her metatarsals. Apart from the administration of pain relief, he informed us that there was nothing else that could be done that night. Orthopaedic procedures aren’t classed as emergencies, so we would have to take Nando to our usual vet on Monday. It was Saturday night.

There was also no point in X-raying the leg as whoever carried out the surgery would take the same X-ray, meaning we would pay for the same scan twice.

After confirming we understood and were happy, the vet went back inside to give Nando the drugs. She received one opioid injection that was to last 6 hours, and one NSAID that was to last 24.

Nando’s leg was broken

At this point my mind was so busy it seemed blank, and I was at a loss. I wasn’t prepared for the fact that Nando’s leg was broken, and realised I had subconsciously been telling myself that I was overreacting. Now I had to tell myself something else: Okay. So Nando’s leg is broken. This isn’t a big deal, cats probably break their legs all the time. Monday will come, Nando will have surgery, and everything will go back to normal.

We paid, and the amount was justifiable. We had done the right thing. It was a good thing we didn’t wait till morning. Nando had been in a lot of pain, and now that pain was relieved.

When Nando returned to us, she was very still and sleepy. She didn’t seem awake for the entire journey.

When we arrived home, we set up our bedroom so that it would have all she needed. It was important to keep her separate from the other cats and limit her movements. We set Nando down in the room, and she was happy to be home. She settled down for an uneventful night, whilst I stayed awake, thoughts racing.


A diagram depicting the bones of a cats leg to help show where Nando’s leg was broken

Here is a picture that I found on google, depicting the tarsals and metatarsals of a cat. I have included a video on instagram that shows Nando’s broken leg; it can be found in the ‘Blog: Nando’ highlight.




The First Vet

continued directly from previous post…

Getting Nando into her carrier was relatively easy. To us, this was another sign that she needed to go to the vet. I don’t know anything about claustrophobia in cats but Nando passionately hates being confined. One of our theories is that she may have been kept against her will in a small space before she was re-homed. In the first few months since taking her home, she wouldn’t even go into the bathroom. For her not to fuss and fight about going into her carrier was definitely unusual.

The car ride to the vet was uneventful but still vivid in my memory. There was a weight on my mind that this was a huge overreaction, and we were about to spend £300 for nothing. But these thoughts were pacified by the realisation that it was a GOOD thing if this money was being paid for nothing – to hope that this wasn’t a waste of time and money would also be to hope that Nando needed emergency treatment. So I actually found myself praying that there was nothing wrong with Nando and I was about to part with money for no reason other than panic.


Due to the coronavirus pandemic, on arrival at the vet’s you stay in your car and call to announce your arrival. The vet  will then come and collect your pet to be taken inside and bring them out again when ready.

When I had passed Nando to the vet, the carrier had swung by his side as he walked back into the clinic; a sharp contrast to the protective and careful hold I had used when holding Nando had been my responsibility. At every bump in the road, Calvin had slowed as much as possible to prevent Nando being jolted.

But the vet wasn’t being careless, this was just us being over-protective, right?

I hated being parted from Nando. Unreasonable fears kept disturbing my mind. For example – what if the vet was causing further damage to Nando? What if he was being careless and hurting her unnecessarily? What if she really was fine when she went into the vet, but when she came out it was a different story? I am not suggesting that any of these things happened, simply highlighting how distressing the wait was and illustrating our anxiety. Nando’s life was in the hands of a stranger.

Another car pulled up to the clinic, and we watched them call in to announce their arrival. They were cradling the tiniest little puppy, bundled up in some blankets.

A few minutes later, the vet came back out.

This is a recent picture of Nando from before her accident.




The first difficult decision

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It didn’t seem like an unusual cry – just a normal “I’m here, can you let me in now” sound; but there was still an urgency to answer the door. Perhaps because Nando had been gone for so long, or maybe it was intuition.

My partner, Calvin, jumped up and opened the door. And there was Nando. She slowly limped her way inside. It was so surreal. We were all just watching her. She had made it across the room and into her bed before anyone reacted. I think nobody knew what to do. Then she started squirming, unable to get comfortable, and crying. That’s when it really hit us that something bad had happened and it was time to act.

I can’t remember who said what. It was stated that Nando was hurt. What should we do? How bad do you think it is?

After numerous unsuccessful attempts to get comfortable, Nando got up again. We watched her try to walk. “Calvin we need to call the vet.”

I looked up the number of our usual vet on my phone and called it. Closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. An automated voice directed us to a local emergency clinic. Calvin called them and told the lady on the other end of the line what had happened. She agreed that we should bring Nando in and told us it would be a jaw-dropping £300 to see Nando out of hours. Excluding any further treatment Nando may need.

Calvin and I looked at each other. At that moment I felt so lost, I had no idea what to do – what was best for Nando? Were we overreacting? Is this an emergency? Can it wait till the morning when the prices may be more reasonable?

I heard Calvin call his mum, asking for her advice. She said to leave it till the morning. If Nando still isn’t putting any weight on it then go to the vet.

There was a thumping on the stairs and I looked to see Nando jumping up them, not putting any weight on her left back leg. When she finally got to the top, she let out a little cry and collapsed in a tiny heap. She looked so small and fragile. It reminded me of the day we brought her home from the shelter. Since then she had grown in health and personality, but today she was once again a small, precious little creature that needed rescuing.

“Call the vets back, we need to go.”

Calvin rushed to where I was, cradling and comforting Nanna. One look at her and he was back on the phone to the vet – yes the price is fine, yes we will be there before 11 pm. The first of many difficult decisions had been made.

This picture was taken before I met Nando. It was the one used on the Rescue website to advertise she was available to be rehomed. This was the first picture we ever saw of Nando, that made us fall in love with her.




The Beginning

It feels like this is the best place to start.

I am going to give the raw version of events exactly as I remember so that you guys will have the best understanding of my feelings.

At around 8 pm on Saturday the 9th May 2020, my partner arrived home from work. If this was a routine day, 8 paws would have trotted in with him, but there was only Milo.

It is unusual for Nando to stay outside for too long. She loves spending time in our garden, keeping the company of the sun and the breeze. But she loves being at home more. Every time the front door opens, Nando sees it as her cue to come inside; even if she has only been out for a few minutes. She is a funny cat, sometimes we joke that she thinks she is a human. Anything on two legs she loves unconditionally until she is given a reason not to. Anything on four, she hates until she learns to tolerate them.

We called her but she didn’t come. Also odd. Nando’s nickname is Nanna. It arose because it is not too far off Nando, and also because another long-running Nando joke is that she acts like a grandma. Her favourite hobby is sleeping somewhere warm; preferably on someone’s lap. She is constantly keeping the other cats in check. And she looks at everyone like they are her grandchildren – sometimes her eyes say they want to tell us off, and other times they say she loves us.

Nanna loves to hear her name being called, she comes trotting. It’s a sound that means the attention will be solely on her, and that she will get some strokes and loving; her favourite things.

It was a beautiful warm evening so it was easy to put our concerns to the back of our minds. She must be enjoying herself too much to pay attention to us.

The clock continued. 10 o’clock arrived. It was accompanied by the sound of crying out in the darkness close to the house. This marked the start.



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